## Friday, January 22, 2010

### Friday's with Mr. Milk - Equations for Dinner Chairs

It's finally time to deal with the inevitable question: Who should our parents invite to the wedding? By default, both families are inviting all immediate relatives, including first cousins (or most of them anyway), which should be a fairly straight forward process. For Chocolate Lover this isn't much of a problem. For me however... let's just say it's more complicated than I thought.

Here's an example. My parents want to invite uncle Jack (all names are fictional and besides, there's no one in Cyprus named Jack) to the wedding. Naturally, uncle Jack would come along with aunt Jill. Jack and Jill are my mother's first cousins and really good friends.. J&J have two children, who I guess are my relatives but by a distant what(?), 3rd cousins or something? The conundrum expands when you consider that J&J's children also have children of their own: 2 each. So the question is: Who should be invited to the wedding?

In my mind (some have described it as simple), J&J should come to the wedding and dinner, and J&J's children and their kids should come to the reception. Besides, that's part of the reason for holding the reception: so that you allow your larger community/family circle, the chance to congratulate you and the opportunity for you to reward them with a traditional sweet that they don't want to eat and will likely use in their refrigerator for the next two years as a dampener to stop bottles from rattling when the generator is running. Now, let's see how familiar you are with Mediterranean style weddings. Do you think that my parents agree?

Of course not.

In their view, we should invite:

J&J + (J1&J1 + J1a&J1b) + (J2&J2 + J2a&J2b) = 10Js too many!

If we were to repeat this formula for every uncle and aunt I have, we might as well hold a dinner for 600 people! With our capacity at 300, you can appreciate that this discussion has yet to be resolved. In anticipation of possible misunderstandings, my parents suggested that they invite everyone to the reception and stick to only the VERY immediate family for the dinner. Although this might not be a bad alternative, the number will then be too low. Be damned if you do, damned if you don't...

Until next Friday, this is Mr. Milk signing off.

Kim said...

Sigh. I feel your pain, Mr. Milk. In my fiance's culture, it's insulting not to invite entire families, including their children and their children's children. We haven't completely narrowed it down yet, but I know it's not going to be an easy process.

Abby the Tiny Traveler said...

I totally feel your pain. Nigerian weddings have the same dilemma. Thus my guest list is causing me many sleepless nights :-( Let us know how you solve this issue!!

Jennifer Oberth said...

I, too, feel your pain. I've known many brides to have this same issue and it's a hard one to resolve.

One thing my aunt has said about wedding planning in general (and she was a wedding planner for a long time) is you are going to offend someone. It's going to happen - no matter what you do, you are going to offend someone (or more likely, someones).

So do keep in mind that it's your wedding and try to please as many people as possible, while keeping true to your own idea of your special day.

Unknown said...

Happy SITS sharefest.

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

So hard. I have a lot of extended family (2nd cousins and such) but most of them are people I am actually close to and see often or regularly...so almost all of my family is invited. In fact, there were cousins of mine that I have not talked to in like 15-20 years who live out of state and called me up to say they couldn't wait to be at the wedding! I wasn't even planning on inviting them but what am I supposed to do? I can't say no to family! Even though I haven't talked to them in years and I have local friends I would much prefer to invite.

So what did we do? We came up with an A list and B list of guests. The A list were must invites and the B list were 'wishful' invitees that would be bumped up to the A list as the original A guests began to RSVP with any regrets. To do this, we had a little bit earlier RSVP date than most weddings do and then had our stationery designer provide some extra RSVP cards with a later RSVP date on them so that we could send them out *after* the initial set of invitations goes out. I am hoping we get enough regrets to bump up some B listers because I am sad to not be able to include them...but I have to opt for family first. :(

Kristy said...

i hear you - i think its an almost universal issue. in our case, my family is really small - his is super big. i've had the advice of "...well if his parents have X friends then your family should get that many too "- but since they dont exist on my side the result i fear is imbalance and feeling outnumbered for my folks who are ultimatley throwing the wedding, and no one likes to feel out of place at their own party right? i liked to use the cleaning out the closet rules - if you havent worn it in a year get rid of it - if we havent heard from them in X years (or if one of us has never met them) then we got rid of them. what we ended up doing is making an xl doc (obv.) and color coding 3 ways, his fam, my fam, friends... and we looked at it from far away - when we were happy with it and it seemed to be rather balanced we called it a day - not science but it worked for me!

Mrs T said...

The worst part of guest lists. Best of luck in working it out. At least you only have to do it once!